Well, last Friday morning I got up early to brew my Bathwater Blonde Ale. It was truly a brew day from hell, with many firsts.
It was my first time using the new turkey fryer, first time doing full boil, first time using a wort chiller, first time siphoning form the kettle to the fermenter and first time brewing my own recipe. Lots of learning experiences.
First off, I began with 6.25 gallons in my pot (8.5 gallon pot) to try to account for the boil off. Despite my best efforts to prevent a boil over, I had two. When I first added the DME, I lost a slight amount. WHen I added the first hops...wow. Big boil-over...and quick. Disaster number one. Had to re-light the burner...as it was soaked. WHat a mess. Got it re-lit and returned to boil. Things went fairly smooth after that. At 15min to go, I put my new home-made wort chiller in the boil. I made it using 25ft of 3/8 copper tubing with clear tubing hose clamped to the ends and connected to my garden hose.
At flameout, I fired up the garden hose and the chiller was leaking...spraying well water into the pot! Disaster number two. I shut it off and found the issue. The hose clamp had cut throught the tubing on the input side....damn! I grabbed my trusty but rusted screw driver and set to work...only to drop said rusty screw driver into the kettle. Disaster number three.
I gabbed another screw driver...fixed the clamp and turned on the chiller. Worked great...15 minutes to cool to 90F. Now in the past, doing 2~3 gallon boils I used to put a mesh screening bag in the fermentor and pour the whole kettle over, then remove the screen bag with the kettle trub. SInce this was a full boil, I decided to use my auto-siphon. Worked awesome...so much less trub in the fermentor.
Once it cooled to around 85F I pitched my starter (1/2 gallon) and prayed for the best...well water and rusty screw driver and all. I hooked up my blow off and left for the weekend. Starting gravity was 1.057....color was great (added the bulk of the extract at 40min in).
Came home monday night. Checked the fermenter. Smelled good. i sanitized my theif, popped the lid and checked the gravity. The krausen hadn't fallen, but she was down to 1.015. Color was a nice straw blonde. Hop aroma was very mild, but the flavor was perfect! great hop flavor from the mix. I am glad I mixed all three hops together. I gave the krausen a bit of a stir and popped the lid back on. Tommorow night I am gonna rack it to secondary and pitch my Porter on the yeast cake.